Lionel LeMoine FitzGerald
Poplar Woods (Poplars), 1929
oil on canvas
71.8 x 91.5 cm
Collection of the Winnipeg Art Gallery; Acquired in memory of Mr. and Mrs. Arnold O. Brigden
Lionel LeMoine FitzGerald received national recognition in the late 1920s for his finely observed scenes of Winnipeg backyards, in particular for paintings like Poplar Woods, its composition filled with robust and sinewy tree trunks and branches. By the 1950s he had developed a more abstract style. Colleagues like Bertram Brooker and Group of Seven founding member Lawren Harris encouraged FitzGerald’s modernist experimentations. Abstract: Green and Gold is in many ways a logical development in the artist’s career. On the one hand it shows a careful refinement of FitzGerald’s ongoing formal concern with shape, line, and plane. At the same time, while details have been eliminated, subject matter has not been completely purged. There is residual naturalism in the painting’s three-dimensional illusion, and its colour and shape together hint at the earth and sky.